The Shame Game

Why we loved to hate Armstrong's fess-up on the Oprah Scolding Network

I am incredibly judgmental. this is partly because it's fun, partly because it's a way to bond with others and mostly because one of my few faults is not appreciating how difficult it is for others to be as amazing as I am.

But I'm not a fan of public shaming. Sure, shame is a powerful tool that has helped cut down on smoking, littering and people trying to write a column like mine. But it's possible for a culture to overshame: stoning adulterers, putting gossipers in the stockade, TMZ. Now that we can shame at a distance--via television, Twitter and...

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